THE party formed by Labour rebels in the early 1980s is set to stand candidates in Scotland’s local government elections.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) will attempt to sway centrist, pro-union voters who are disillusioned with Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats.

The party was originally set up in 1981 by the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, Labour defectors Roy Jenkins, William Rodgers, Shirley Williams and Davis Owen. They believed that Labour had lurched to the left following infiltration by Trotskyist factions at constituency party level – a precursor of the claims made last week by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson.

Leader Peter Johnson will set up a branch network in Scotland over the coming months and his party will “target” council seats next May.